Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fraser, Robert (1798-1839)

FRASER, ROBERT (1798–1839), Scottish poet, was born at Pathhead, Fifeshire, on 4 June 1798. In early life he served as an apprentice, first to a wine merchant and then to an ironmonger. In 1819 he entered into a partnership as an ironmonger in Kirkcaldy, and in 1833 began business on his own account. In 1836 he lost his fortune, through having become financial surety to a friend. He was almost entirely self-educated, and during intervals of leisure he acquired a knowledge of several foreign languages. He contributed original pieces and verse translations from German, Spanish, and other languages to the ‘Edinburgh Literary Gazette,’ the ‘Edinburgh Literary Journal,’ and various newspapers. His poetical work, which is wholly unpretentious, is distinguished by true feeling of its kind and nicety of touch. A selection was issued by David Vedder soon after his death. In 1838 he became editor of the ‘Fife Herald.’ He died on 22 May 1839. He married, in 1820, a Miss Ann Cumming, by whom he had eight children.

[Poetical Remains of the late Robert Fraser, with Memoir by David Vedder; Irving's Eminent Scotsmen; Conolly's Eminent Men of Fife.]

W. B-e.